”We expect concrete proposals from the Armenian side”: Piotr Switalski, head of the European delegation to Armenia
We expect concrete proposals and ideas from the Armenian side, the European Union’s attitude is very constructive”, stated Piotr Switalski, head of the European Union delegation at July 16 Media Center press conference.

As to Nikol Pashinyan’s visit to Brussels last week the ambassador noted that the European Union leaders’ statement made it clear that the EU welcomes the changes taking place in Armenia and is ready to assist in the reforms.

As to Nikol Pashinyan’s statement that the EU’s policy towards Armenia has not changed following the changes in Armenia the ambassador stressed that they are open to listen to the expectations of the RA government.

“I keep meeting with representatives of government, ministers. At each meeting we ask the question – how we can help, what they expect from us. This is what we are decisive to continue. We would like to listen to concrete ideas as to how the EU can be helpful. We have received some preliminary ideas and we would like to have a comprehensive picture. When it is there we will discuss our assistance. The EU has a very constructive attitude, we understand that the new government in Armenia needs time, many of the ministers are new in the government system, they should take into consideration what is best for Armenia. Our attitude has been very constructive and so when we have concrete proposals on the table we will discuss them”, Switalski says.

The ambassador noted that they operate in concrete frameworks and the EU is a complex organization that is probably difficult for some people to understand.

“We are organizing a seminar on coming Saturday for the Armenian officials – the new deputy ministers to help them understand how the EU works and what possibilities are there with the EU. The legal and political basis of our relationships is RA-EU CEPA and the partnership priorities document. The political agenda is defined by partnership priorities document which was negotiated with the previous government and we are ready to discuss the ideas and we are fully open to discuss what you would like to change in our relationships”, Switalski noted.  

The ambassador clarified that the EU works on long term basis and this includes the instruments offered to the RA are defined every 7 years via multi-annual financial framework with the current one expiring in 2020.

According to him the 7 year period is divided into 2 subperiods that are called Single support frameworks.

“This is not the end and the only way of our activity. This framework is divided into annual action plans. We expect to get concrete ideas regarding the annual action plans for this year and it will be filled with such content that will comply with Armenia’s expectations and agenda”, Piotr Switalksi stressed.

To the observation whether Mr. Switalksi expresses skepticism towards the young cabinet of Armenia the ambassador clarified: “I can say that after meeting with each of your ministers I get enthusiasm and optimism. I understand they opt for changes. Some of them are not experienced while state governance is a difficult job. I am not a pessimist, we believe that this is energy will have good results. Eventually it is they who lead the country and it is up to them make necessary changes. We can help with Europe’s successful experience.”
Coming to the discussion on electoral code the ambassador noted that the Armenian side is going to decide regarding the EU assistance.  

“We are committed to assist in the next elections. We are waiting for the results of inner discussion. We understand that snap elections are not far and we also should get the financial support given that we are engaged in time consuming processes but we are determined to keep the promises  given by the EU officials”, Piotr Switalki said.

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